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Aldo Martínez: ‘Ilia Topuria is incredible and we will enjoy him for many years to come’

The physical trainer of the newly crowned UFC featherweight world champion holds a degree, masters and doctorate from UCAM. He is also a professor of the Master's Degree in High Performance Sports.

Pedro Emilio Alcaraz, director of the UCAM CIARD, and Aldo Martínez, Ilia Topuria's physical trainer, at the UCAM Los Jerónimos Campus.
Pedro Emilio Alcaraz, director of the UCAM CIARD, and Aldo Martínez, Ilia Topuria's physical trainer, at the UCAM Los Jerónimos Campus.

Having just arrived in Spain after Ilia Topuria's historic triumph, Aldo Martínez, the physical trainer of the new UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) featherweight world champion, arrived at the Los Jerónimos Campus of the Universidad Católica de Murcia. He came along with Pedro Emilio Alcaraz, director of the UCAM's High Performance Sports Research Centre to comment on his experience in the United States and the work process over the last few months that has led to his pupil's final victory. 

Still on cloud nine, Aldo Martínez, who also teaches in the UCAM’s Master’s Degree in High Performance Sport, stressed that what has been achieved ‘is a dream come true’, and highlighted the commitment of the Spanish-Georgian athlete to achieve his greatest goal: ‘Ilia is amazing. He is a superhero to me.  He goes up a level with every training session and every fight; the difference between being a world 'top' and a superstar. The Topuria era in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) has just begun and we are going to have a lot of fun in the coming years".

The scientific work around high performance sport has been key for Topuria's physical trainer, who has been trained at UCAM at all levels: ‘This is where I have done two of my four degrees, one of my two master's degrees and one of my two doctorates. Research, innovation, technology and development are extremely important. Working with Ilia is the best job I have had in my professional life. This is partly thanks to being in contact with professionals such as Pedro Emilio Alcaraz, director of CIARD (UCAM's High Performance Sports Research Centre). I am constantly training, and we are always looking at aspects that can have an impact on the improvement of my athlete’.

In this regard, Pedro Emilio Alcaraz highlighted Aldo's work and how proud he is that a graduate of the Universidad Católica is working at this level: ‘We have done a great job at UCAM in terms of high performance. It is important that our students finish with the best possible education. That is why we are proud to see Aldo as the physical trainer of a UFC world champion. We are also very happy that he is part of the faculty of the Master's Degree in High Performance Sports.’

In May 2023, Ilia Topuria and his brother Aleksandre were at the UCAM CIARD conducting tests to gather valuable data for the following months in their preparation for the world title challenge. Pedro Emilio Alcaraz highlighted the importance of this type of test: ‘On the one hand, we look for body composition using a densitometer, the technology we currently have, with the aim of finding out the amount of bone mineral density. On the other hand, we did a stress test to check his cardiovascular condition and to see how to guide the training from an aerobic and anaerobic point of view. With all this data, Aldo could fine-tune and plan the training so that Topuria would arrive in the best possible condition for the fight. The planning is always done from a medium to long term perspective. We check the athlete's condition and set the objectives month by month in order to be at the maximum when it matters most. In addition, we provide them with advice on everything they may need and we collaborate in aspects such as the manufacture of the mouth guard with which he fought for the world title.’